Love Letters to Humans (no. 25) – on Choosing Discomfort

Contempt and superiority are as binding and spiritually oppressive to those who harbor them as they are to those at whom they are directed. Throwing people away is not an act of transformation; it is an act of sacrificing pieces of our own humanity so that we don’t have to experience the discomfort of difference and repair and change.

You know what’s transformational? Conversations and relationships with people who are uncomfortably unlike us. Actively caring for and holding ourselves accountable to people we have been conditioned to fear, to dismiss, or to believe are unworthy of our care and love, and listening to them as though our own liberation depends on it.

note: I am not talking about ignoring the boundaries that protect us from the harmful behavior of unhealed people. Some folx are not yet willing or able to part with (for lack of a better word) shittiness, and thus choose to forego access to us. We get to practice discernment around what is truly harmful and what is simply uncomfortable.

I am talking about letting go of the belief that we are somehow better or more worthy of resources, care, dignity, and belonging than someone else who is living their life, making choices, and being a person in the world in ways that we don’t prefer, that inconvenience us, that make us uncomfortable, but do not actually harm us.

I’m talking about putting down the oppressive and tiresome work of judging other people’s (or our own) worthiness, and instead taking up the joyful and messy and not easy and utterly necessary work of relating to each other in the fullness of our humanity, of finding a sustainable balance between minding our business and engaging wholeheartedly.

“I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.“ – Audre Lorde